Experiments in Form Part 3: The Spenserian Sonnet

Of the three major sonnet forms, I have found the Spenserian to be the nicest to write in. Like the Petrarchan sonnet it contains only five rhymes (the Shakespearean has seven) and the rhyming scheme is elegant, with a lovely motion to it, like a series of interlinking circles, rounded off with the rhyming couplet that it shares with the Shakespearean sonnet. The trick, I suppose, is to select the form that best matches the content you are writing. Each form has its strengths and weaknesses. But I have most enjoyed writing in the Spenserian form. Here is what I produced.

Spenserian Sonnet

The rain, you see, is not our enemy:
It breaks our dryness, dances in the light;
Its sparkles quell the sun’s bright enmity,
With softness soothing summer’s blinding sight.
And when the glare sets dying fields alight,
Our unexpected friend the rain descends,
The comfort of its cleansing setting right
The balance on which all our life depends.
Though through each day we don’t know how it ends –
This movement back and forth through night and day
– The father of the rain and light, he mends
All daily dying things in his soft way,
The rain but one of many ways he weaves
And threads our woes together with reprieves.

2 thoughts on “Experiments in Form Part 3: The Spenserian Sonnet

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